Category: Spider Veins

This is Why you Treat Varicose Veins Quickly

We all know that varicose veins are an unsightly problem that, if left untreated, may cause pain or discomfort. But Reasons for a Vein Evaluationdid you know that leaving your varicose veins untreated can cause you to develop varicose veins in other areas of your body? Unfortunately, it’s true!

According to a study published in The Journal of Venous Disease, untreated varicose veins in the pelvis can cause women and men to develop the problem in their legs. Previously, the connection between pelvic and leg varicose veins was only established for women. With this new research, however, it becomes clear that men are also at risk.

Treat Problem Veins at their Root

Because 20% of women with varicose veins in their legs also have pelvic varicose veins, vein doctors now strongly recommend treating the pelvic veins before doing anything about women’s legs. Now, men who have testicular varicose veins will be told the same thing: treat your pelvic veins before addressing any problems in your legs. If the legs are treated first, it is highly likely that the varicose veins will reappear.

What does this mean for male patients with varicose veins? Let’s look at how this finding should effect treatment protocols.

A New Approach to Varicose Veins

Leg veins are pretty easy to examine and treat, because they are usually right near the surface of your body. That makes it easy to spot any problems, usually with a simple ultrasound. Pelvic veins, especially in men, are much harder to spot, because they are buried deep within your body.

While full vein scans are not necessary for every patient experiencing varicose veins, looking beyond the legs may be crucial for treating some individuals–especially men and women with recurring problems. In other words, if the varicose veins in your legs keep coming back after treatment, you may have to look beyond the valves and veins in your trunk. According to the new evidence, a pelvic vein scan may be the only way to stop your varicose veins from coming back!

In our Houston vein clinic, we are prepared to offer comprehensive vein scans. With a careful examination, Dr. Fox and Dr. Hardee will get to the root cause of your varicose veins. They will treat you appropriately to prevent your problem from becoming a repeat offender. If you can’t seem to get rid of your varicose veins, and you want to solve the problem for good, contact our office for an immediate consultation.

Sources: Phlebology: Journal of Venous Diseases, https://journals.sagepub.com

8 Tips for Coping with Spider Veins

If you have spider veins, you’re not alone: they’re a very common condition, especially among women who are or have been pregnant or are over the age of 50. Just because they’re common, however, doesn’t mean they can’t be treated! In our Texas Endovascular practice, we offer several different treatment plans for your spider or varicose veins, all of them being minimally invasive and performed as outpatient procedures! And, while you’re discussing with your doctor what treatment option is best for you, here are 8 tips to follow that can keep your condition from getting worse!

Hacks to Help with Spider Veins

Frequent exercise, like taking walks, can help improve the appearance of spider veins
  1. Stay Active! Regular exercise can improve blood circulation in your legs, while also lowering your blood pressure (another factor that could improve varicose veins.) Not sure where to start? Check out our weekly Move it Monday blog posts for exercise inspiration!
  2. Rock Your Socks! Tight (compression) socks or stockings apply pressure to your lower legs, potentially helping to improve blood flow to the area.
  3. But…Skip the Stilettos. High heels keep your calf muscles engaged, reducing the amount of blood that flows into the veins of your foot and calf. It also reduces the amount of force going to push blood into those veins, meaning blood can begin to pool and form new or worsen existing spider veins.
  4. Skip the Salt, too. Salty foods can cause your body to retain water and swell up; while you’re swelling, those bulging varicose veins may worsen.
  5. Up Your Fiber Intake. Fiber is good for your heart health, and improved heart health equals better blood flow throughout the body.
  6. Embrace Massage. Gently massaging your legs can help stimulate blood flow to the area, but don’t apply direct pressure to bulging veins as the delicate tissue may be damaged.
  7. Take a Stand. Sitting for extended periods of time, whether at home, at work, or on a plane, allows blood to pool in your legs. Take frequent walking breaks to avoid this issue.
  8. Drop a Few: Extra pounds on your frame puts extra pressure on your legs, so maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the appearance of spider veins!

Sources: mayoclinic.org, medicalnewstoday.com

Got Spider Veins? Hit the (Cold) Showers!

If the thought of an icy cold shower is unappealing, we get it. Frigid water hitting your body isn’t exactly relaxing. But as it turns out, an icy-cold shower may be just what the doctor ordered if you want to prevent varicose veins, or find relief from the pain of an existing vein condition.

Cold Water Improves Circulation

Why are cold showers such a useful tool in preventing spider veins? Cold showers improve blood circulation–as your limbs get colder, blood rushes down from other parts of your body to warm them. When circulation improves, blood is less likely to pool in your veins. And, since pooling blood causes varicose veins to bulge and become visible beneath your skin, a daily cold shower can help keep this problem at bay.  And for patients already dealing with painful spider veins,

Of course, improved blood flow also helps your overall cardiovascular health. It can also keep plaque from building up in your arteries, preventing the type of hardening we associate with peripheral arterial disease.

Additional Benefits of Daily Cold Showers

But those aren’t all the benefits you may enjoy from daily cold showers. Icy water can boost your lymphatic system. And by boosting your lymphatic system, you can help prevent the build up of lymph material that causes lymphedema (swelling) in your lower legs.

While cold showers can offer preventative vein care, and temporary pain relief, they can’t cure CVD (chronic venous disease) or other underlying conditions that may be causing your spider veins. For true relief, you will need to seek treatment from your local vein specialists.

 

Sources: msn.com, chatelaine.com

Four Ways to Prevent Spider Veins

So many things contribute to your risk of developing spider veins: your age, your family history and your weight can all play a role. So, while it may not be possible to prevent spider veins from ever forming, there are certainly things you can do to delay the process, or to prevent existing veins from worsening. leg exercise

  1. Don’t stand or sit for extended periods
    Spending a long time in any one position—whether it’s up or down—can make your spider veins worse. Why? When you stop moving, blood can start to pool in the bottom of your legs. If your job requires you to sit a lot, try taking frequent walking breaks or do some stationary leg exercises under your desk. If you have to stand up on the job, sneak in sitting breaks throughout the day, ideally elevating your feet during that downtime.
  2. Wear compression socks or hose
    Compressions stockings can help your valves stay in the proper position, improving your circulation and reducing discomfort. We offer several different sizes and styles of compression socks in our Houston vein clinic, so you can pick the pair that suits your mood.
  3. Make overall health your priority
    By eating a balanced diet, avoiding excessive alcohol and staying well hydrated, you’re already on the right path towards protecting your vein health. And don’t feel like you have t do everything all at once: even a small change, like adding more fruits and veggies to your diet, can give you an extra boost of fiber and potassium—both of which help support healthy veins!
  4. Get sweaty on the regular
    Exercising is crucial in preventing the progression of varicose veins because it helps protect and improve your circulation. Don’t worry—you don’t need to start training for a marathon to enjoy the benefits of exercise. If you’re new to fitness, start with walking: it gets you active without putting too much pressure on your body. Bonus: it costs you nothing, you don’t need any equipment, and you can make it into a social opportunity! If walking isn’t your speed, give yoga a chance. Not only will it help your circulation, it can also tone and strengthen the leg muscles that support your most vulnerable veins!

Varicose veins can be unsightly and painful, so if you have one or more risk factors, taking preventative steps like these are always a good idea. It’s also smart to get regular vein health check-ups: the sooner you catch a potential problem, the sooner you can begin treatment and avoid further complications!

Sources: verywellhealth.com, viavascular.com

5 Reasons Why Varicose Veins Aren’t Just a Cosmetic Concern

There’s one thing we all know about varicose veins: those bulging, dark twisty things don’t look great when they show up on your legs (or anywhere else.) But here’s what you may not know: varicose veins are actually your body’s way of warning you that problems are brewing inside.

5 Conditions Associated with Spider VeinsDiagnostic Ultrasound Evaluation

  1. Venous Insufficiency. While varicose veins aren’t themselves bad for you, the factors that create them can be. You see, veins are elastic blood vessels, charged with carrying blood back to the heart after it’s reached your body’s extremities. In the veins, there are a series of valves that open and close, allowing blood to flow up and towards the heart. The valves are basically one way gates that open to let blood flow up, but close to keep it from going back down towards your body again. They are your body’s way of fighting gravity. But, what happens when those valves stop working well? Your blood can begin to go backward, allowing blood to back up and pool. That kind of backward flow is called venous insufficiency, and aside from allowing veins to stretch and bulge it can also lead to leg and ankle swelling (edema), pain, itching and other uncomfortable symptoms.
  2. Blood Clots. When VI leaves you with pooling blood, that blood is more likely to form clots. Clots that form in the walls of your superficial veins (also called phlebitis) can be quite painful, although not usually life threatening.
  3. Deep Vein Thrombosis. Also known as DVT, this is a condition that occurs when blood clots form in your body’s deeper veins. Associated with poor circulation, it is considered a life threatening condition because, if a clot breaks free, it can travel to the lungs (pulmonary embolism).
  4. Ulcers. When blood sits around in your veins, it doesn’t just clot–it can start to leak out of your vessels as the walls become stretched beyond capacity. The leaked blood can deposit itself into the soft tissue of your legs, especially around your ankles where the skin is thin, holes may open up. Because your circulatory system is already compromised, less than optimal amounts of oxygen will reach that hole, making it more difficult for the skin to heal itself. That is why individuals with VI are more prone to open sores (ulcers.)
  5. Hemorrhaging.  When VI persists without treatment veins may be stretched to the point where they burst. At that point, you will experience bleeding that, depending on the location of the vein, may be dangerous to your overall health.

Now that you understand the potential complications associated with spider veins, don’t waste another minute: schedule a diagnostic vein scan to determine the best treatment course to resolve your venous insufficiency.

Sources: news.llu.edu, healthline.com, clevelandclinic.org, texaseva.com

5 Reasons Not to Delay Your Vein Treatments

We hear so many explanations from patients who aren’t in a rush to treat their spider veins: “It’s just cosmetic.” “They don’t bother me that much.” “I’ve got other problems to deal with first.”

Painful varicose and spider veins will only cause more problems down the road if left untreated!

Unfortunately, what many patients don’t realize is that leaving your spider veins untreated can actually lead to further medical complications. Here are five health issues that may come up if you decide to delay treating varicose veins:

 

Complications of Untreated Varicose Veins

  1. Hyperpigmentation
    Varicose veins can be dangerous because of the blood that builds up inside of them. Because this blood is stripped of its oxygen and nutrients, it can cause cause chronic inflammation, and lead to changes in your skin’s appearance–you may notice that your legs are darker or discolored (hyperpigmentation.) Painful swelling is also associated with this condition.
  2. Ulcers
    Venous ulcers are open sores that can develop when your leg veins aren’t able to properly push blood back up towards your heart. First, the extra blood pools in your veins, causing the noticeable bulges of spider veins. If left untreated, however, the extra blood may leak through the vein, causing an ulcer to form, most frequently in the thin-skinned areas above the ankles. Ulcers are difficult to heal and can open your entire body up to serious infection. If left untreated, ulcers may leave you in need of a limb amputation. In rare cases, ulcers can even prove to be fatal.
  3. Bleeding
    When pooled blood is left, untreated, in your veins, the covering skin thins out due to the internal swelling and pressure. The thinner your skin, the less protection there is for your veins. And the more blood that pools in your veins, the larger a target they become for injury. All of this adds up to the fact that untreated varicose veins are at higher risk of being nicked or cut; if and when that does occur, you may stand to lose a significant amount of blood, because so much liquid will have collected in the injured vein.
  4. Blood Clots
    Varicose veins are more likely to become inflamed at the point where you can see them, which is just beneath your skin. This, in turn, can put you at higher risk for blood clots in those surface-level veins.
  5. Deep vein thrombosis
    Unlike surface level blood clots, DVTs occur in the veins that hide deep within your legs. Because they are harder to detect, they are a scarier side effect: DVTs are known to break free, without warning, and travel to your lungs (pulmonary embolism), where they become a potentially life-threatening complication.

Booking Your Vein Treatment

Clearly, varicose veins are so much more than a cosmetic concern. If left untreated, they can cause you to experience a whole host of serious medical complications. Now that you know the facts, stop the excuses and make an appointment to address those unsightly veins in your legs. Yes, you’ll feel better about the way you look but, more importantly, you’ll be taking a major step towards protecting your long-term health!

What You Should Know About Spider Veins (Even If You Are Young)

If you have been distressed recently and noticed the appearance of little red and blue lines on your legs, don’t panic. Yes, you are young, healthy, and quite fit, so why would you see those “old lady” spider veins?

You may not like how they look, but the fact is they are really nothing to become upset about, and they happen to be quite normal. With that said, there are some facts you should know about spider veins even if you are young.

Continue reading “What You Should Know About Spider Veins (Even If You Are Young)”

Are Standing Desks Good or Bad for Your Veins?

Look around your office. These days, so many nine-to-fivers are opting to switch out traditional work stations forStanding Deskstanding desks—that is, desks that can be raised or lowered to allow the employees of standing or sitting throughout the day.

With so many people in this country struggling with their weight, due in large part to their lack of activity, standing desks have been acclaimed as a great solution to the problem of all-day sitting. Unfortunately, standing desks bring individuals a whole new set of problems—as it turns out, standing desks can be connected to increases in foot and back pain and, potentially, an increased risk of developing varicose veins. To better understand the risks of a standing desk, let’s explore the pros and cons of each desk option.

Why Sitting All Day is Dangerous
Have you heard that sitting is the new smoking? That’s right, some health experts have said that it’s worth for your health to sit all day than to smoke a pack of cigarettes. Extended periods of sitting have been linked to an increased risk of both heart and kidney disease. Not surprisingly, sitting has also been shown to increase the odds of gaining weight and, as we already know, being overweight contributes to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. Some researchers have even suggested that increasing your exercise level won’t completely combat the effects of entire days spent sitting.

Why Standing All Day is a Problem, Too
Even if you get your boss to approve a standing desk, your health woes may not be over.  In addition to back and foot pain, extended periods of standing can leave you feeling tired and less able to concentrate. And, getting to the point of this blog, standing desks increase your risk of DVTs (deep vein thrombosis) and those lovely, bulging varicose veins we all love to hate.

Why Standing Leads to Spider Veins
The veins in your lower legs have to fight gravity and get your blood to flow up your body to your heart. As you age, or when you put too much pressure on those veins, they can weaken or sustain damage, making it harder for blood to get moving. As a result, blood pools in your veins and the vessels swell. This is when you usually notice spider veins.  Your varicose vein risk increases when it becomes harder for your blood to flow to your heart. Weight gain, tight clothes and—you guessed it—long periods on your feet—make it harder for blood to flow. That’s why standing desks, and jobs like construction work or nursing that keep you on your feet, make you more likely to develop spider veins.

What Desk Should You Choose?
Since neither option is perfect, a standing desk is still a great choice. Because it moves up and down, you can alternate between periods of sitting and time spent standing. In this way, you can minimize your risks in either category. It’s also a great idea to step away from your desk for quick walking breaks throughout the day—even small bursts of movement can help keep your blood flowing as it should.

Making the switch to a standing desk can be life changing—as long as you know the risks and take the appropriate precautions. Still with proper care, you can almost certainly enjoy this innovative new office feature without the fear of destroying your vein health.

5 Must-Know Facts About Spider Veins

Chances are, you’ve heard about spider or varicose veins at least once in your life. You may even have a bumpy spot on your leg that looks suspiciously like a developing problem. But today, we’re sharing some little-known facts about spider veins that just may help you avoid or resolve this pesky (and occasionally painful) problem:

1. As gnarled as their skin may look, elephants and other beasts don’t get varicose veins: only humans do. Unlike animals, who typically walk on four legs, the pressure put on human ankle veins from standing on two legs is what often leads to varicose veins. 

Spider veins
Learn more about spider veins to prevent long-term complications!

2) Severe pain is not a symptom of varicose veins (except in rare cases where the veins have become inflamed;) dull aches after standing and itchiness are symptoms. Typically, however, it’s the cosmetic symptoms, not the physical ones, that lead patients to seek treatment

3) Spider veins are not just your grandma or pregnant friend’s problem: they are way more common than you think. In fact, 30 per cent of all woman and 20 per cent of all men have large varicose veins. Of course, the chance of developing spider veins increases with age: by the age of 60 years, 50 per cent of all individuals have some sort of varicose vein. 

4) Most varicose veins don’t require surgical treatment. Many veins can be treated on an outpatient basis with sclerotherapy, a procedure that uses an injection to shrink vessels and improve blood flow; radiofrequency ablation, a treatment in which a catheter is used to deliver heat to a vein, thus shutting it down; or a number of other treatment options that allow you to walk out of the clinic and go home on the same day as your procedure! 

5) Treating varicose veins is important. Left untreated, skin damage that may simply start as dry, scaly, itchy skin can progress to form an ulcer, a hard-to-heal lesion that can be both painful and unsightly. 

When it comes to your vein health, knowledge is power. The more you know about spider veins, why they develop and how they should be treated, the less likely you are to develop long-term problems as a result of this condition!

Texas Endovascular is OPEN for business!

Our offices have stringent safety protocols in place to keep you safe and provide the care you need.  We are accepting appointments now. Do not delay necessary medical care and follow-up. Call our office today at 713-575-3686  to schedule your appointment with Dr. Fox, Dr. Hardee, or Dr. Valenson.

website logo